Marty Turco picked the perfect time for his first NHL victory at the Joe Louis Arena.
Turco made 38 saves to lift the Dallas Stars to a 2-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday in Game 5, extending the Western Conference finals.
“It’s probably the best I’ve felt in this building ever,” he said.
Trevor Daley scored in the first period and Joel Lundqvist had a go-ahead goal in the second to help the Stars pull to 3-2 in the series after losing the first three games.
Game 6 is tonight in Dallas. If necessary, the final game will be on Wednesday night in Detroit.
Turco had been 0-9-2 as a pro at the Joe after starring at college in Michigan. While in goal for the Wolverines, he was 18-5 in the arena.
Turco seemed to build confidence after turning away Dan Cleary’s shot about a minute into the game.
“It was Marty’s night,” Daley said. “He was a special player and basically won that game for us.” Detroit’s Jiri Hudler scored late in the first period, but that was the only shot the NHL’s top-seeded team got past Turco from their 27 shots through two periods.
“We had lots of shots on net and we missed the net 19 more times,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “And we had three quality chances that we didn’t even get a shot on net.”
Chris Osgood made 19 saves for the Red Wings after helping Detroit win a franchise-record nine straight playoff games before losing 3-1 on Wednesday night in Dallas.
The Western Conference finals are starting to look like the Stars’ previous match-ups in the playoffs, but they hope to stop the similarities soon.
Dallas won the first three games in the second round against the San Jose Sharks, before they rallied with two straight wins. The Stars put San Jose away in the fourth overtime of Game 6.
Detroit were 7-0 at home in the playoffs, outscoring opponents 24-10.
The Red Wings were without center Johan Franzen for the fourth straight game because of concussion-like symptoms. Franzen, who has been cleared for light workouts off the ice, leads the NHL with 12 playoff goals that broke a team post-season record.
Dallas scratched four players because of injuries, including forward Jere Lehtinen.
Turco, a seven-year veteran, helped the Stars get off to a good start at both ends of the rink.
After making a key stop early in the game, Turco skated away from the net to play a puck in the left circle midway through the first period.
“He’s the best in the game at it,” Daley said. “He’s like a third defense-man, because he passes it better than most of us.”
Turco got the puck up the ice to Niklas Hagman, who passed it to Brad Richards. His drop pass between his legs set up Daley for his first goal of the playoffs.
The Red Wings tied the game with 4 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first period, snapping an 0-for-14 skid with an extra skater. Hudler scored off his own rebound, shooting the puck off the inside of the left post with 4 seconds left on a power play.
The Stars took the lead shortly after Detroit defense-man Chris Chelios went off the ice for a line change. Lundqvist got into open ice and beat Osgood on 6 minutes, 4 seconds of the second period.
Detroit struggled on offense in the third period. Their comeback chances were hurt when Tomas Holmstrom was called for a roughing penalty as he skated by Dallas’ bench with more than 7 minutes left.